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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3739

Advisors: Hailemichael Abera Dr.
Copyright: Jun-1994
Date Added: 7-Nov-2012
Publisher: AAU
Abstract: This study was an attempt to compare the reading comprehension level of Ethiopian Junior Secondary School students with the levels expected of them in their content areas. To achieve this, the readability level of the seventh grade textbooks for Geography and Science, which are taught in English, was assessed using the Fog Index. What is more, in order to identify the comprehension level of the students, six cloze tests were administered to a randomly selected sample. A student questionnaire and interviews were also used to investigate the problems the students face in reading their textbooks. In addition to the above tools a readability checklist was used to assess the views of Geography and Science teachers about the readability of the texts. Based on the opinion expressed by the teachers and the students, a sample unit from the Geography textbook was prepared to see the effect of text simplification on the students' reading and understanding. Finally, the attitude of subject teachers towards the teaching of reading in the content areas was assessed. The findings from the study indicated that the Geography textbook is appropriate to the seventh grade students as far as the F00 Index is concerned. But the Science Textbook is slightly above their level. The result of the cloze tests showed that the comprehension level of the students is at a frustration level. The questionnaire and the interview results revealed that many students cannot read and understand their textbooks because of vocabulary and sentence complexity. Findings from the checklist showed that content area teachers feel that the two textbooks are adequate. The results of the readability Fog Index and the cloze test of the simplified unit indicated that the readability level of the simplified unit is appropriate to the seventh grade. But the students' performance on the cloze test was found to be very low. Finally, the findings from the attitude measurement scale indicated that content area teachers feel that they are not prepared to teach reading in the content classroom. Based on the findings, it is recommended that students must be prepared in elementary English classes to develop their vocabulary and independent reading. In the Junior Secondary level, students should be helped in their content reading through the use of familiar vocabulary and simple sentences, and questions of various kinds at the pre-reading and post-reading stages leading to discussions and activities. What is more, new concepts should be introduced in relation to what is familiar to the students and a step by step approach should be used to develop these concepts with various examples and illustrations. In order to raise the teachers' awareness of the problem of reading and positively influence their attitude to the teaching of readingl seminars, workshops and in-service training should be organized in a continuous basis. In addition, courses on the reading skills should be offered to the teacher trainees. Finally, it is recommended that the readability of content texts should be carefully assessed and there should be a working relation between the English panel and other panels of the Ministry of Education Curriculum Division in material preparation.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3739
Appears in:Thesis - Teaching English as a Foreign Language

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